Modern motor-sport is a global industry, as demonstrated by the continuing success of Formula One and the ever-increasing prominence of the Formula E championships.
Below these high-profile events are many other series involving teams featuring a wealth of engineering and racing talent — teams that feed the ‘higher echelons’ with new ideas and drivers.
One such team is Belgium-based M2 Competition, created in New Zealand in 2010 by Mark Pilcher and Jonathan Moury, who had worked together on the A1GP Team New Zealand.
The intention was to become a racing team focusing on Junior Formulae, and it began by competing in New Zealand’s Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
Success came quickly, and the team has won multiple championships, along with both constructor and driver titles.
It developed as a business, looked at other championships and gained experience in DTM, Formula 2, GP3, Formula 3, Formula Renault, WRC and WEC — all while continuing to compete in (and win) in the Castrol Toyota Racing Series.
Throughout this success, the team has always maintained the goal of developing young talent.
Mr Moury said: “Working with young drivers is very rewarding, as you see them grow and progress not only within your team but later in their career.
“Seeing guys like Lando Norris and Lance Stroll in Formula One this year — plus Alex Lynn in the WEC and Ferdinand Habsburg in DTM — is really enjoyable, and we are happy to have been a small part of their journey.”
Despite its continuing success in New Zealand, where Mr Pilcher concentrates his efforts, the team remains relatively small, with 24 people in New Zealand and 11 in Europe.
A few of the latter are based in a ‘new’ workshop, where all of the team’s engineering and car preparation is now carried out.
This facility — located in Lembeek, on the outskirts of Brussels — was originally built as a cattle shed and was latterly being used to store fridges.
Under the guidance of Mr Moury and his wife Elise (a co-owner of the business and chief engineer for the team’s Formula Renault Eurocup Programme), the ‘shed’ has been transformed.
Mr Moury said: “The workshop is located near our home; and being close to Brussels offers good facilities and transport links for our staff.
“With the building being virtually a blank canvas, we decided to take the opportunity to transform it to suit our specific requirements.”
He sought the help of Ashford-based System Store Solutions Ltd (www.system-store.com
) to turn what was a ‘gloomy cattle shed’ into a modern motor-sport workshop facility with storage and race bays.
The company proposed using its Fami range of products to create the bespoke build that included cabinets, cupboards, and stainless-steel ‘bin lids and splashbacks’.
However, one issue that came to light during the site survey was a slope of 251mm across the width of the building (and for its entire length).
System Store Solutions overcame this slope by manufacturing bespoke plinths for the cabinets, thereby ensuring that everything remained neat and tidy — and level; and as with all things related to motor-sport, speed was also key to delivery of the workshop.
From start to finish, the entire project — from initial discussions through design to installation — took just six weeks, including one day for the site survey and just four days for the installation.
Mr Moury said: “The slope on the floor was an aspect that never crossed our minds. We completely overlooked it, which is why it pays to have professionals involved, such as System Store Solutions.
“When they carried out their survey, they realised just how much of a slope it was and quickly came up with a solution that would work for us.
“If we had tried to fit out the workshop ourselves, details like the slope in the floor could have had major consequences, but we knew that by using System Store Solutions the workshop would be ready to use 100% upon completion.
“It also allowed our staff to focus on the cars, which at the end of the day is our business.”